Proskauer - ERISA Practice Center

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Sixth Circuit Declines Deference to DOL and Enforces Venue Selection Clause

The Sixth Circuit recently held that a venue selection clause in an ERISA-governed pension plan was enforceable and, in so ruling, refused to give deference to the DOL’s contrary position. See Smith v. AEGON Cos. Pension Plan,…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law

Eighth Circuit Says That Considerations Of Health Care Cost Savings Could Be Proxy For Age In ADEA Suits

The Eighth Circuit recently concluded that an employer may violate the ADEA by terminating an older employee in order to reduce its health care premiums. Tramp v. Associated Underwriters, Inc., 2014 WL 4977396 (8th Cir. 2014)…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Health, Insurance

A Court’s Review of a Disability Benefit Claim May Hinge on the Meaning “Satisfactory to Us”

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts should review an ERISA participant’s claim for benefits under a de novo standard of review unless the plan gives the plan fiduciary discretionary authority to…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Insurance

IRS to Amend Cafeteria Plan Regulations to Facilitate Enrollment in Marketplace Coverage

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-55, which expands the cafeteria plan “change in status” rules to allow plans to offer employees an option to revoke their elections for…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Health, Taxation

Mental Health Parity Act: A Litigation Update

The Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (the “Federal Parity Act”), like many similar state parity laws, mandates that financial requirements (e.g., copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles) and treatment…more
| Health, Insurance

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Waiting Periods

On August 15, 2014, California passed Senate Bill 1034, which repealed an insurance law (Assembly Bill 1083) that prohibited insurance companies from including waiting periods in excess of 60 days in their group health insurance…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Insurance

Sixth Circuit says ERISA does not preempt state law claim for fraudulent inducement.

The Sixth Circuit recently held that ERISA did not preempt a plan participant’s claim for state law fraudulent inducement. McCarthy v. Ameritech Pub., Inc., No. 12-4510, 2014 WL 3930572 (6th Cir. 2014). Defendant-API’s decided…more
| Conflict of Laws, Labor & Employment Law, Personal Injury

New Guidance on Locating Missing Participants for Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided new guidance to plan fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans for locating missing and unresponsive participants in order to distribute their benefits…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

Divided Fourth Circuit Panel Rules On Burden of Proving Loss Causation in ERISA Fiduciary Breach Case

That was the sentiment expressed in a blistering dissent by Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson in the latest ruling in a lawsuit challenging the decision by the fiduicaries of the RJR 401(k) plan to liquidate two stock…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

District Court Allows ERISA Section 510 Retaliation Claim to Proceed

A federal district court in Pennsylvania concluded that Irene Najmola, a former employee of Chester County Hospital, sufficiently pled a retaliation claim under ERISA section 510 by alleging that her employment was terminated…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law

Righting a Wrong: The “Claim of Right” Doctrine and Other Tax Considerations for the Repayment of Pension Plan Overpayments

Pension plan overpayments to participants and their beneficiaries are an all-too-common occurrence. When overpayments occur, a plan administrator’s duties are fairly clear. Typically, the plan administrator must seek repayment…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking

IRS Increases 9.5% Affordability Threshold—Or Did It?

On July 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released three Revenue Procedures (2014-46, 2014-37, and 2014-41), which provide guidance to individuals on their obligation to maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC) under…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Health, Taxation

Of Mice and Elephants: Halbig and King and The Struggle of Two Federal Appeals Courts to Find Meaning in Words That May or May Not Be There

At issue in Halbig v. Burwell and King v. Burwell is whether or not subsidies to buy insurance on an exchange are available in both state and federal exchanges. On its face the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provides for subsidies…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Health, Insurance, Taxation

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal Health Coverage

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse. The…more
| Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Family Law, Health, Taxation

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Business Torts, Insurance, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
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